DePaul holds on to beat Providence 70-65
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP)—Will Walker hit a key 3-pointer and then stole a last-second inbounds pass to preserve the victory Saturday night as DePaul beat Providence 70-65.
DePaul (6-7, 2-0) has won its first two conference games for the first time ever. The Blue Demons upset No. 17 Villanova on Thursday night.
Dar Tucker scored 15 for DePaul and Walker finished with 13. Leading scorer Draelon Burns managed only eight.
Providence (9-5, 0-2) got 20 points from Weyinmi Efejuku and 15 from Jeff Xavier. The Friars fell behind by 17 in the first half but played scrappy ball in the second and twice had a chance to tie in the closing seconds.
Providence cut a 13-point halftime deficit down to five early in the second half with some aggressive inside play from 6-foot-11 Randall Hanke, who had six points during a 10-3 spurt.
But Tucker hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Blue Demons rolling again and his slam dunk on an alley oop pass put DePaul ahead 57-45.
Xavier’ steal and layup, a 3-pointer by Efejuku and a slam by Brian McKenzie made it 60-57. With the Blue Demon nursing a 4-point lead, Walker just beat the shot cock with hit third 3-pointer to put DePaul ahead 67-60 with just under three minutes left.
But Providence rallied on Xavier’s 3-pointer and then an inside basket by Efejuku that made it 68-65 with a minute to play.
The Friars rebounded a miss by Tucker and had a chance to tie, but McKenzie missed a 3-point attempt with 10 seconds left. After Tucker missed at the line, Providence got another chance. But after the ball went out of bounds, Walker stole the inbounds pass and his layup was goaltended by Efejuku with a second to go.